Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders Passes Away at the Age of 60
We lose great people everyday from this world and we are reminded of that today as Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders passed away at the age of 60.
In August, Saunders made the public announcement that he was battling and being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma.
At the time, doctors said they believed it to be "very treatable and curable".
At that time, Flip announced that he planned to remain the Twolves head coach and president of basketball operations.
Since then, things had not gone as planned.
Unfortunately, he was hospitalized in September with complications and just this past Friday, the team announced that Saunders would be out the entire 2015-2016 season.
Saunders is a personal favorite of mine over the years and I was fortunate to get to have numerous encounters with him on a personal and professional basis.
Flip was the head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce when I was growing up in Sioux Falls and he was very accommodating then to a young aspiring basketball player at practices and even when I was a ball boy at a couple of games.
As a student at the University of Minnesota during Flip's first tenure with the Wolves, I got to see him have a lot of success then including his trip to the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers.
After that I followed from afar as he went on to coach the Detroit Pistons and eventually my favorite team, the Washington Wizards.
As he returned to Minnesota, I returned to the area as well with my radio show on ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls and on a couple of different occasions, I was able to have Flip join us on my radio show and he was gracious as always.
We hear of his passing today and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. His son was a classmate of mine at the University of Minnesota and his future is as bright as his fathers career was in the NBA.
Many current NBA players and others across the league have sent out condolences via social media as they heard of the sad news.
The NBA issued a statement too on the passing of a valued member of their fraternity.
Flip Saunders gone way way way way way too early. He will truly be missed by so many.